I think about this blog lots, honest, I just never have time to write anything on it. And it’s 22.52 now, so not the best time to start, particularly as I have poured myself a large-ish one. Hic. Slur. Typo.

So. Recap. My undercarriage – you know, my de-furred, depilated, denuded, acutely sensitised and pre-brutalised undercarriage – took pointed exception to the bright red antiseptic paint (I was told the actual make-up of it later, but I forget) that I was coated from chest to mid-thigh with, in theatre. Pointed exception. Am I using enough italics here, folks? 

When I realised what the problem was, I trotted off to my practice nurse – a dear, stalwart soul who has extensive experience of my oddities. She settled her glasses firmly onto her nose, leaned around my knee, peered narrowly at what I had to show her –  and took an intake of breath reminiscent of a car mechanic who has spotted a juicily lucrative head gasket. She patted my knee, shook her head and told me what I’d already worked out for myself: skin-wise, I was going to lose the lot. Every area I’d plucked, every square inch I’d de-forested, every follicle I had, in fact, annoyed the bloody hell out of before going in for surgery.

Overall, I lost about… ummm… about 10 square inches of top-layer skin from an extremely personal spot.


Yeah. Never doing that again. Next time: I stay forested and they can find their own goddamn way about down there.

And then my brace of abdominal stitches went manky. Practice nurse had confirmed my suspicions that they were not, in fact, dissolvable ones at all. I had vaguely planned to go and have them removed, but I was busy, and it became apparent one evening about a week after my Op that the belly button one needed out, and pronto. We appeared to have a dearth of suitable implements; I tried – very briefly, and with no serious expectation of success – with the kitchen scissors, before moving onto nail clippers, with which I succeeding solely in nipping previously undamaged skin with the side I wasn’t concentrating on. I then found a craft knife and started sawing industriously away at the stitch, but the bloody knife was blunt, and I couldn’t find tweezers so I was using an earing instead, so there was only a tiny mm or two of stitch I could actually get at, and John was alternately peering apprehensively at me and prognosticating Doooom, and turning away with a shudder, and… well. I became hot and Harassed. Belly buttons are not the easiest thing to access when you have as much padding as I have, and my neck was hurting like a sod from trying to peer over the significant impediment of spare tyres and boobs.

I eventually did the clever thing, and begged a surgical scalpel and long-nosed tweezers from our doctor neighbour. By then, of course, the cut was even more swollen and sore, but I eventually became Stitch-Free. The belly-button incision immediately and dramatically improved: the one on my belly has knitted very badly for no obvious reason, and I have a half-healed wound visible practically from space.

So, that was a week of misery, except that some kind dear friends sent me flowers and a dvd of Elf to ameliorate my sufferings, which was really very nice indeed of them.

And then, thenHarry Hairy Disease Vector caught a cold, and suffered mildly with it for 48 hours. John and I promptly imbibed it from him and have spent a week near-prostrate, sounding like a pair of particularly TB-ridden badgers. We wanted nothing more than inactivity and sleep, but events militated against us: Harry, the devious little bugger, can now open the babygate across his bedroom door – and, as he is now waking to use the potty in the early hours 3 nights out of 7, we have a midnight tourist arriving regularly – and heavily – in our bed. It wouldn’t be so bad if he was happy to snuggle down and go back to sleep, but the cheeky sod’s just taken to flicking our bedroom TV on before clambering smugly between us. Cue disruption, protest and Eventual Grumpiness From All.

I disapprove fairly stringently of young children having TVs in their bedrooms; nevertheless, there’s this tiny wee voice in my head talking an awfully persuasive talk. It murmurs to me of More Sleep and Happy Toddler.

Is this how it starts?

Touch Wood

but I ate’nt dead.

I thank you all for you good wishes, which were much appreciated and evidently turned the tide of fate. I didn’t die, my heart did not embark on any further ridiculousness and the hospital scales weighed me half a stone light. Also: I am not borked.

Win, win, win, win. 

I explained to the anaesthetist that nausea was anathema to me, and that I would take pain over sickness any day. I think he listened; at any rate, my recovery was entirely nausea-free but I woke in pain on my left side, and promptly went back on my stated word by bleating about it as soon as I came round. I don’t know if he was still about at that point, as I was in no way able to open my eyes, move a limb, or identify voices yet, but if he sighed in exasperation, he would have been Perfectly Entitled to do so.

I was given a toasty hot blanket to cuddle to my tummy and heard Morphine SomethingOrOther ordered, and was requested to open my mouth for it, which I unhesitatingly did – resembling, I suspect, a particularly large and trusting baby bird. The two mouthfuls of opiate fluid helped to wash away the lingering sensation of the noxious-tasting gas – which the anaesthesia assistant had had the temerity to call ‘oxygen’ when she first lowered the mask over my face in theatre – but didn’t have a major effect on the pain, which solidified some long-standing suspicions that opiates don’t render me much specific assistance with abdominal ouch. (The Voltarol I later begged off the drugs trolley was considerably better value-per-swallow.)

I seemed to take hell of a time coming round; my ears started working pretty early on, but my eyes were very slow following suit, and apart from the odd squint around me, and demanding that I lose the hated bloody mask, I couldn’t really evince much interest in my surroundings until I was back on a ward (inhabited by several extremely batty and forgetful old dears and one who sounded TB-ridden) where I proceeded to gulp water, doze and complain fretfully. I felt like death warmed woozily over, but none of the nurses seemed to notice (once I had left the recovery suite, the standard of care fell noticeably, and John had the devil’s own job simply obtaining me a cup of tea) and given the loud nature of the surrounding dementia (although I’m sure I heard one lovely old soul shushing her visitors because I had lost the battle with my eyelids again) and the rampant coughing, we decided a badger colony would likely be a healthier place to stay the night than that ward, and I decided I was offski as soon as I’d seen my surgeon, wobbly or not.

The gynae team had a long day in theatre. Senior Chap, whom we have not seen since he came to congratulate me on being 8 weeks pregnant with Harry, and who has become even more internationally senior in the interim, was waiting for us when we arrived on the ward at 7.50am (20 minutes late!) to consent me, and tell me that they have a new Professor joining their team in the New Year who would have a particular interest in me – methinks I smell a clinical trial being dangled. It was gone 6pm when he came back up on the ward to give feedback to the 5 or so of us that had been in theatre that day. He explained that my lovely, glamorous consultant – whom I had barely recognised in theatre scrubs until she flashed me her usual kind smile – had done my surgery herself, as everything she encountered inside me looked… well, normal, really. Apart from there being more than one uterus, naturellement.

Which was… I dunno. A peculiar mix of relief and anti-climax. There was some endometriosis, apparently, but not a significant amount. Tubes, ovarys and both uteri look ‘good’. I am now a little concerned about just where my ute-busting period pain is originating from, and adenomyosis is my only remaining diagnosis. Which has been spied exactly once on an ultrasound – in the uterus that generally hurts me a good deal less than the other – before disappearing at the next one. To be fair, he had explained earlier in the day that adenomyosis wasn’t something they could see during surgery, but he made no mention of the bridge of tissue stretching across my right uterus, which they could easily have seen, so I’m assuming it simply… isn’t there anymore? Either that, or it was never there to begin with, although given that I did see clear abnormality myself on the screen, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t entirely the radiologist’s imagination.

We’re waiting on endometrial biopsy results, which I’m vaguely hopeful will highlight the reason – or, at least, confirm my asseveration – that I have never had any proper red blood flow from my Right, Harry-housed, uterus, the one attached to my better-functioning ovary, the one I’m scared stiff of conceiving in again. No photos: I (hopefully) get to see them in my official follow-up appointment, which is ‘the first available slot’ in my consultant’s recurrent miscarriage clinic. I feel instinctively dour about the likely wait. I can spy 36 years old approaching and am in absolutely no mood whatsoever to await the NHS’s pleasure, but neither do I have the £300 it will take to see her privately this side of Christmas. I suspect there will have to be fairly major raiding of savings accounts at some point, mind you.

So, here I am. Alive! Thankful! I’m fairly sore, still. I did have some referred shoulder pain from the gas – which, once I actually felt it, I realised I’ve already experienced on previous occasions without realising what it was. I have two holes bodged in me – one in my belly button, one over to the left and low down – which have stitches in, and feel uber-yuk, so I am simply pretending they are not there. I assume they are dissolving ones, as no-one has said otherwise, but I have no idea when or if I should get them wet – which will either make tomorrow morning’s shower interesting, or my subsequent trip into the outside world fragrant. I have stuff to do and places to go tomorrow morning, so I’m hoping I feel better by then – or, at least, able to lift Harry up, which has been impossible today. 

I’m tired, feeling fairly beaten-up, and reasonably confused about precisely what to do next. But I’m thankful to have options, and decisions to make.

And extremely thankful that I have a wondrous (talking!) small boy, who, if he is not finally permitted to open a door on his Thomas the Festive Tank Engine chocolate advent calendar in the morning, will likely chew my leg off in sheer rage. Hurrah for December 1st.

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